The counting of votes for Kerala local body polls started on Wednesday (December 16) at 8 AM. A total of 70,27,534 people, including 32,87,029 men, 37,40,486 women and 19 transgender people cast their votes in the four districts.
Kozhikode district recorded the highest turnout with 79 per cent, followed by Malappuram (78.87) and Kannur (78.57), while Kasaragod witnessed the lowest voter turnout with 77.17 per cent. The final phase of polling witnessed 78.64 per cent voter turnout in the four districts.
The tri-cornered fight between Left Democratic Front, United Democratic Front and National Democratic Alliance for the local body elections is being seen as a precursor to the state assembly elections which is scheduled for May 2021.
In Kochi Corporation’s North Island ward, BJP candidate defeated N Venugopal, who was seen as the mayor candidate of the Congress. Venugopal lost the election by only one vote.
Venugopal’s loss is seen as a major blow to the Congress as it was hoping to nominate a strong leader from its ‘I’ group as the mayor candidate. It is to be noted that UDF has been in power at the Kochi Corporation for the past 10 years.
In Palakkad municipality, BJP is currently leading, Palakkad is rural district and has a strong network of RSS workers.
In the 2015 polls, the CPM-led LDF won 551 of the 941 village panchayats, 42 of 86 municipalities, 7 of 14 district panchayats, 88 of 152 block panchayats and 4 out of the 6 corporations. The Cobgress-led UDF finished at second place after winning 362 panchayats, 7 district panchayats, 2 corporations, 40 municipalities and 63 block panchayats. The BJP managed to win only in 14 panchayats and 1 municipality.